Strikes and doctor shortages in Italy, Kenya and South Korea

Around 100 Argentine doctors have moved to Sicily due to the problems facing local hospitals and healthcare in Italy, as well as the economic collapse in Argentina. For many of these doctors, it is a return to their roots and marks the completion of the migration circle, as their ancestors left Italy and immigrated to Argentina years ago. The arrival of these doctors has prevented the closure of hospitals in places like Mussomeli, ensuring that around 75,000 people have access to healthcare. Recent data shows that there was a shortage of approximately 30,000 doctors in Italy in 2023.

In mid-March of this year, Kenyan doctors went on a nationwide strike to demand better pay and working conditions. However, the country’s authorities claimed that they lacked the financial resources to meet their demands. As a result, Kenyatta University Referral Hospital in Nairobi dismissed 100 doctors who participated in the strike and replaced them with new staff.

In South Korea, several thousand doctors and interns are currently protesting against the government’s plan to increase the number of places in medical schools in Seoul. These strikes are making the healthcare situation worse, as the country has been facing a shortage of medical professionals for years. It is estimated that since 2017, around 3,750 patients have died because hospitals refused to provide care, as the doctor-to-population ratio in South Korea is one of the worst among developed countries. Interestingly, South Korea has kept the number of medical students the same for the past 20 years, despite the booming medical tourism industry, as well as the plastic surgery and cosmetics industries in the country.

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